Car Side Mirror

What Is God

To You?

Lesson 5

 

Lesson Intro For Leaders

This week, as the group has walked this faith journey together the hope is that our answers have gone from “surface” and “out there” to more of a “deep” and “here-and-now” sense. All of the questions we have about God and our faith ultimately give us the ability to look at God and ask the question: What is God to me? As the group engages in this discussion, we want to allow space for discussion about the 5 W’s (Where, When, Who, Why and What).

The idea of God’s love and presence as light is prevalent through scripture. It is no coincidence that the Gospel of John folds these two ideas together as the story of Jesus is presented. Just like the day’s light that comes every morning, God’s love finds us and is present to us even when it seems like a dark day.

The purpose of this lesson is really to give you camper(s) the opportunity to reflect on what they have learned and hammer home the idea that God loves them and as a response to that love we are called to love others. In fact one might even say that all of the W questions can be answered through the lens of love. Where is God? Anywhere Love is, When has Godshown up? Anytime Love has been shown. Who is God? God is love. 

 
 

Gathering Questions

As you gather for the last time spend some time answering the questions below.

  1. Who is someone in your life who shows you what God's love looks like?

  2. Where is one place where you think God's love is needed?

  3. How do we take the love of God to those places?

 

Opening Prayer

Supplies: Candle (optional)

As a family/group- have one person read the “leader” parts, and the rest of the family/small group respond in the following call & response prayer below adapted from Psalm 136:1-9. Instruct the person leading the prayer to read the leader part and have the rest of group respond with the response “For God’s love forever!”


Leader: O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good

All:         For God’s love lasts forever!

Leader: O give thanks to the God of gods, O give thanks to the Lord of lords

All:         For God’s love lasts forever!


Leader: Who alone does great wonders and by understanding made the heavens

All:         For God’s love lasts forever!

Leader: Who spread out the earth on the waters and made the great lights

All:         For God’s love lasts forever!


Leader: Who made the sun to rule over the day and the moon and stars to rule over the night

All:         For God’s love lasts forever!

Leader: O give thanks to the God of heaven


All:        For God’s love lasts forever!

 

Alternate Opening Prayer

Gracious God, we know that you are good and that you love endures forever! We give thanks, for we know that you are the Lord of lords, the one who does great wonders throughout heaven and earth. You are the creator of all things and for your creation, we give thanks!

Bless this time together that we might be reminded of your love for us, a love that lasts forever! Amen!

 

Reflecting on Camp

For this activities we would like you to answer the questions below about your experience this week. 

  • What is the one thing you enjoyed most this week?

  • Which bible story from this week was your favorite and why?

  • If you had to describe this week of camp in one word, which word would you use?

 

Scripture Readings

John 1:1-5 (CEB)

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word was with God in the beginning. Everything came into being through the Word, and without the Word nothing came into being. What came into being through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people. The light shines in the darkness,

and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.

1 John 1:5-7 (CEB)


This is the message that we have heard from him and announce to you: “God is light and there is no darkness in him at all.” If we claim, “We have fellowship with him,” and live in the darkness, we are lying and do not act truthfully. But if we live in the light in the same way as he is in the light, we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin.

1 John 4:7-11 (CEB)

Dear friends, let’s love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God and knows God. The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love. This is how the love of God is revealed to us: God has sent his only Son into the world so that we can live through him.This is love: it is not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as the sacrifice that deals with our sins.


Dear friends, if God loved us this way, we also ought to love each other.

 

Discussion Introduction

What is God? That may be a really hard question to answer. Is God light? Yes. In 1 John 1:5 it says, ‘This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.’ Is God love? Yes. In 1 John 4:7-8 it says, ‘Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.’ If we look really hard in scripture, we can find other ways that God is described. In John 1:1 it says, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ So, when we ask, what is God, God is different things and all things at that same time. Realizing that God is love, God is light, God is the creator of all things allows us to seek comfort and peace in a God who is always there for us no matter we do or say. But God can be something different to everyone at different times in their lives. Let’s look at some questions to see if we can answer thequestion together, ‘What is God to us?

 

Digging Deeper Questions

Surface: 

  • Have you ever been scared or afraid of something? Who did you go to for comfort and safety? How is God like that person?

  • Have you ever seen a sunset or sunrise where all the colors are bouncing all over the sky and clouds? How is God like that sunset or sunrise?

  • Have you ever looked at something so incredible that you couldn’t figure out how it was done? Like in those instances, how is God surprising or amazing sometimes?

Deeper: 

  • If you could describe God as an everyday person here on earth with us, what would God be like? Describe how God would look, act, talk, dress and interact with people.

  • How can we be more like God? What characteristics do we need to have in order to be more like God?

  • Do you struggle describing God to other people? What makes this difficult or easy for you?

Deepest: 

  • Have you ever wondered or asked the 5 W’s about God because you were angry or upset? Which of the 5 W’s do you ask the most?

  • When you think about the 5 W’s and God, which question is the hardest for you to answer? Which is the easiest to answer? Why?

  • Think about this statement: Be Christ-like. What does that mean? Have the discussions this week helped shape that answer? Why or why not?

 

Bible Study Wrap Up

Why is it important for us to know God? We begin to trust and love someone when we get to know them. We ask questions, we spend time with them, we grow with them. It is hard to be in a relationship with a complete stranger! We only can love and trust someone as much as we know them. Knowing God helps us with a better understanding of our own identity. Before we can truly appreciate who we are, we need to know who made us. By learning more about God, we learn more about ourselves. Our spiritual journey is one that will last our entire lives. By asking the 5 W questions we can encounter God in different ways along this journey. We can grow in trust and love. By using scripture and asking those same questions we can begin to dive deeper into the word and discover new and wondrous things there. Ask questions, listen for the answers and discover what God has in store for you.

 

Sharing the Love

Spend some time with your group sharing affirmations about one another. What have you learned and come to appreciate about those who you have shared in this journey with? Give time for every person to receive at least one affirmation from someone in the group.

 

Closing Quiz

Supplies: Piece of Paper and Writing Utensil 

When started this curriculum we answered some questions and put them away. Before we look at our old answers on a clean sheet of paper answer the following questions. 

Where is God?

When has God Shown Up?

Who is God?

Why Does God Love us?

What is God to you?


Once you have answered the questions, pull out your original answers and compare to two. What differences or similarities do you find? 

 

Closing Discussion

Spend some time discussing and reflecting on this lesson and then close with a prayer below. 

  • If someone asked you what you learned at Bridgeport Virtual Camp, what would you tell them?

  • Think about someone you would like to make sure that they know you love them. Who is that person?


When we are done with this final lesson, find a way to tell that person just how much they mean to you. We are not simply called to receive God's love but to share it with everyone around us. 

What to Remember:

Loving + Seeking + Asking = Knowing God

 

Getting Ready for Prayer

(Optional)

Often, we think that “knowing” is something to do with your mind.  Yet, loving, seeking and asking are action words that you do with your body.  

  • Loving:  imagine blowing out birthday candles on your birthday cake.  Usually, blowing out candles is easy; yet, everybody claps.  Why?  

  • Seeking:  imagine getting lost in the grocery store when you were a little kid.  Are you found by your parent or did they say your name over the speaker?  What did it feel like at the exact moment when your heart jumps because you are found? 

  • Asking:  imagine digging in a sand box for buried treasure when you were a little kid.  Did you really think you would find treasure?  Did you ever find real treasure?  Is there something else you dig through today where you hope to find treasure?  What is it?

When you think about these questions: with your two hands make the sign of a heart for everybody to see during this prayer.

 

Closing Prayer

Invite the students to pray with you as you read the prayer below.


God, as we walk this journey of faith together, we pray that Your Spirit fills us with desire to learn more about You and Your love for us.  We pray that all the campers will continue their journey of faith and ask the questions that burn in their hearts.  Help us to hear You and see You in each other. Amen.

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